Does Perl have a business plan?
Perl is not a business, but I get your point. See when you talk about a programming language like a business you are talking about investments in time and other resources people make in learning and using the language. Look at C, its the lingua franca of the systems programming world. Want to get anything done in the embedded programming world? its C all over the place. Similarly Java is large in corporate/large company world. Similarly Perl is too large in many places. But Perl is struggling in attracting newbies, almost anybody who wants to start learning a scripting language doesn't start with Perl these days. Same with projects. Not many people start projects in perl compared to our competitors compare this to say in the 90's there were big companies and start ups alike then used Perl for many projects eg:Amazon/Yahoo/PayPal etc. We are losing out on that space.
a lot of people have a lot invested in the Perl product. Even a peon like myself - it would be far preferable for me personally if the many hours invested in developing even my humble level of Perl proficiency (rather than some other potential money-earning knowledge) produced a decent ROI
I'm in the same situation as you. Lot of people have invested heavily in learning and gathering some proficiency in this beautiful language of ours. Which is by the way still very useful to solve a large range of problems. If you browse PerlMonks for some time you will discover some amazing gems. You can reuse what you learn here, else where too. But that's like translating a poem in one language to another. You can convey the meaning but the spirit is lost.
Perl will produce an ROI for those investors only if there is sufficient demand for Perl's product that Perl programming service providers are in demand.
Let me ask you a question. If you are a manager at a big company or a start up guy. Will you use Perl as a language for your project, when you know that Perl 5 has fewer contributors, is largely a legacy 25 year old codebase which very few know how to maintain, isn't evolving quickly enough, has to maintain backwards compatibility hence can't break existing syntax while yet having problems adding anything new and solving fundamental problems with the language
How will you react as a manager when your are told, the language doesn't have a proper 00 syntax, or syntax for exception handling or even as simple a thing like function signatures. And that hiring programmers is getting difficult by the day, because most people are busy learning and seeking jobs in some other competing technology .In honest judgement will you use Perl as a language for you project you wish to maintain for say the next decade?
For that to happen, requires all the ingredients of any decent business plan.
We have a business plan, Its called Perl 6
First, the product, Perl, must meet the market's needs better than its competitors. That requires real market research, investigating what the businesses that use programming want programs to be able to do, then resource identification and allocation for product development that directly addresses that research.
Yes as a project, Perl 6 addresses all those points
But the business world is littered with good offerings that still failed to win the market. Even a good product needs a marketing plan as part of the overall business plan. Few people on the production floor fully appreciate the invaluable job the marketing and sales departments do in a company. Without promotion, the best product in the world will go unnoticed, and everyone on the line is out of a job. Every successful product has a sales and marketing machine behind it.
If there is one thing that we have enjoy and continue to, its marketing. I mean C'mon. We are talking about a language a written by a little known man without any funding or marketing resources which was able to change the very way programming languages are thought and perceived till today's date. Our nearest competitor- 'Java' a language which a large corporate poured billions of dollars worth money to market. And we did all that on just merit.
The problem isn't marketing. The problem simply is we have done nothing new and solid for years now. Yes there is Moose and all that Modern Perl movement. But I can tell you Modern Perl was all about catching up with others.
So - for those of us who know nothing about the Perl hierarchy - does Perl have a business plan?
We don't need a business plan. What we need is a time plan. We need to finish projects in Time. Especially Perl 6.
EDIT: We also need to ask this question again(http://www.perlmonks.org/?node_id=205308), just to check how many newbies we attract these days.